The majority of Britons believe Christians should be free to follow their conscience at work without fear of disciplinary action, a new poll has revealed.
The poll of 1,000 adults showed that 72 per cent of Brits believe that Christians should have liberty of conscience at work.
It also revealed that 73 per cent of the adult population believe that the right to wear a Christian symbol in the workplace should be protected by law.
And nearly 90 per cent of those surveyed felt it was wrong for healthcare workers to be punished for offering to pray for a patient.
In recent years a number of Christians have suffered for standing up for their faith at work.
Earlier this week the Christian owners of a Cornish guesthouse who are being sued because of their policy of restricting double bed accommodation to married couples appeared in court.
Peter and Hazelmary Bull are being sued by a homosexual couple who claim that the policy is discriminatory. The guesthouse is also the couple’s home.
Christian registrar Lillian Ladele was disciplined by Islington Council because of her stance on same-sex civil partnerships.
Caroline Petrie, a Christian nurse who offered to pray for a patient, was suspended without pay while managers investigated. She was subsequently re-instated.
And mum Jennie Cain was disciplined for sending a prayer email. Lawyers representing Mrs Cain have lodged papers claiming that she has suffered religious discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
The poll was commissioned by the campaign group Christian Concern.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, the group’s director, said: “This survey indicates that recent legislation and the way in which it has been interpreted in the courts is seriously out of line with public opinion.
“The vast majority of British adults support the general principle that Christians should be free to manifest their faith and exercise their conscience in the workplace without fear of punishment.
“Very often in the national debate we hear a lot from a small minority, with extreme views, that would like to see the Christian fabric of our nation destroyed. This poll suggests that their voice is not representative of the vast majority of the British public.”
Earlier this year seven Anglican bishops, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, wrote to a national newspaper saying Christian beliefs on marriage, conscience and worship are being ignored by UK laws.
Last December The Christian Institute published a report called “Marginalising Christians”, which catalogued numerous cases of Christians being sidelined by public bodies, popular media and by employers.